C J S APPROPRIATIONS

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HINCHEY MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT
BACKGROUND:
In January, Neurology p ublished the results of a clinical trial indicating that smoked marijuana effectiv ely reduces chronic p ain for p eop le liv ing with HIV /AIDS. T he study builds on other international ev idence and the federal gov ernment’s own 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) rep ort, Marijuana and Medicine-Assessing the Science B ase, which firmly stated that marijuana has medical v alue and made sev eral recommendations for further study. T o date the federal gov ernment has nev er undertaken any effort to rev iew or imp lement these recommendations. U ntil the federal gov ernment mov es forward with a rev iew of the IOM recommendations, and initiates and comp letes research of the medical efficacy of marijuana, the States should not be obstructed from being resp onsiv e to the p ublic health needs of its citiz ens. Desp ite the ex tent of scientific studies, gov ernment rep orts and journal articles from around the world that sup p ort the medical v alue of marijuana, the U S Dep artment of Justice has been conducting p aramilitary sty le raids on doz ens of bona-fide medical cannabis p atient collectiv es across the state of California. T hese attacks hav e become more frequent since the U .S. Sup reme Court’s decision in G onz ales v. R aich, which up held DE A’s authority to conduct raids, but questioned the wisdom of doing so. T he fiscal imp act of these raids has y et to be determined, but desp ite increased enforcement efforts, medical cannabis collectiv es continue to op en throughout California, Colorado, Washington, and in other medical cannabis jurisdictions. T he Hinchey -R ohrabacher Medical Marijuana Amendment seeks to p ut scarce federal law enforcement resources to better use. T he amendment sp ecifically p rohibits the Dep artment of Justice from using ap p rop riated funds to interfere with the imp lementation of medical cannabis laws in the 12 states that hav e ap p rov ed such use.

W H AT IS T H E H INCH E Y AM E NDM E NT ?
• T he Hinchey Amendment p rohibits any funds made av ailable in the Act to the Dep artment of Justice from being used to p rev ent the States of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nev ada, New Mex ico, Oregon, R hode Island, V ermont, or Washington from imp lementing State laws authoriz ing the use of medical marijuana in those States. • T he Hinchey Amendment does not “ legaliz e” medical cannabis. It simp ly limits the federal gov ernment’s ability to raid and p rosecute medical cannabis p atients and p rov iders who are abiding by their state law.

W H Y IS T H E H INCH E Y AM E NDM E NT NE E DE D?
• B etween FY 2005 and FY 2007, the DE A conducted doz ens of raids on legal and registered p atient collectiv es and disp ensaries across the state of California. Currently, the Dep artment of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to p rosecute nearly 100 licensed medical cannabis p atients and care p rov iders. • T he federal gov ernment has failed to imp lement any of the recommendations p rov ided by the National Academy of Science’s 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) rep ort, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science B ase. U ntil the Administration p rov ides access to cannabis for research and therap eutic use, Congress should limit the ability of DOJ to arrest and p rosecute p atients and p rov iders who are acting within the limits of their state law.

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